Creative time …


I was mentioning changes here in yesterday’s post and forgot to mention that I have started a course of study in Naturopathic Medicine, which is taking me away from home one weekend per month (lectures are from 10am – 6pm on both days – quite a marathon let me tell you!). I am studying Physiology and Biomedicine this year – all very interesting, but it does feel rather taxing for my brain after an eleven year hiatus. I studied this material when I became pregnant with my eldest daughter in 2006, so it isnt totally foreign to me, but it does still feel like I am starting from scratch again. Originally I was interested in becoming a Nutritional Therapist, but since discovering the wonder of herbs, I feel more inclined to study Naturopathy with Herbal Medicine. Let’s see…I need to take one year at a time and things will become clearer if this is the path for me. It is a part-time course so will take several years. I felt it was the right time to start doing something for myself as my children are getting older and need me a bit less and it still allows me plenty of time for family life and homemaking which I love:-)


The long lecture days are very tiring for me and by 3pm, I don’t feel I am taking anything in anymore 😦 I always feel so glad to be home at the end of the day, where it is warm, cosy and colourful – just the right combination to relax me after a long day indoors looking at a big screen under artificial lighting! It really has been a while since I have been in a classroom environment and things have changed a lot in 11 years! (everything is on Power Point for a start!) 😉

My sweet daughters, knowing that I am struggling a bit with the change of environment, draw me sweet pictures to take with me 🙂

On Saturday evening, all I wanted to do was work with my hands, so I sewed some little beech and oak “leaf children” to hang from the branches on our Nature Table. I must say after a day of study, working with my hands was very soothing.


I really wanted to make something autumnal and since I have been making a lot of flower children this year, leaf children felt like the next step 🙂

Basically, I traced a couple of leaves onto paper, pinned the paper to wool felt and cut two leaves out per “child”. The child is made out of a 2cm diameter bead and a pipe cleaner for structure (see above). The pipe cleaner is popped inside between the leaves (it acts as a shoulder) and then the leaf is sewn together around all the sides using blanket stitch. At this point I glued wool on for hair and used a glue gun to stick the acorn or beech nut hat on. I sewed some simple vein lines on too.

I rather like them and am pleased how they turned out 🙂


My youngest daughter was keen to have a go and made a couple over the weekend too. She wanted to draw faces on hers and the beech child has hands. Here they are suspended from branches on her own nature table amongst a paraphanelia of other random “precious” items 🙂


My eldest daughter needed a quick project as she was busy making things to sell on  her stall at our school Christmas Fayre (like last year), so she whipped up a little pine cone ‘child’ in a few minutes! So simple and sweet 🙂


For two weekends now, my daughter has been working on her “wares”. She has sewn some doll skirts again as they sold well last year and has made lots of lovely paper angels for the same reason. She has also started needle felting little Christmas baubles and seems to have other plans too. Let’s see what she manages to get done in the next couple of weeks.


She is a fast and determined maker and is very motivated to earn some real money!


My youngest had a go at needle felting a few things too. Here she is working on a Christmas pudding 🙂

We had friends over the weekend before last to celebrate their daughter’s Birthday (she was born 4 days after my eldest and they have known each other all their lives). We had a lovely time, playing, eating and drinking and there were some fireworks and sparklers too as it was the 5th November.


At some point we noticed the children had gone quiet for a while, so I went upstairs to find them on the bed quietly weaving Ojos de Dios!


They look so pretty, I had to display them 🙂


Apart from these endeavours, it was Martinmas on Sunday. I wrote at length about Martinmas last year so won’t go into any detail here. We have been on a couple of walks up to our local park with our lanterns over the past week and are due to go for a (postponed) lantern walk with my youngest daughter’s class this Friday. It is so lovely to be out in the darkness with our lanterns lighting the way and sweet songs on our lips. 🙂

We attempted to make papier mache lanterns this year, but unfortunately the tutorial we were following wasn’t very detailed, so the lanterns weren’t a great success. 😦 It didn’t mention to use several layers of light coloured tissue paper all over (but then again not too many – I think six is probably about right), so we guessed…One lantern is rather dark – we cut some moons in there to disperse the light – and the other was too flimsy at the top, so my daughter cut the top off making it rather shallow. The girls enjoyed the process, but were a bit disappointed. Note to self to look at more than one tutorial!!! 

Any tips on making one of these would be welcome as we plan to have another go next year 🙂

To make up for this, we made some star paper lanterns for the table yesterday after school using this very detailed video tutorial. 

We all had a go and with a bit of help, we all managed to make these lovely little lanterns to adorn our dining table. We are rather pleased with the results.


Well that’s the round up of our creative time this week. I hope you are enjoying some cosy creative moments at home too. Joining Nicole for Crafting On.


6 thoughts on “Creative time …

  1. Your leaf folk are so nice and your lanterns are, too. I made several star lanterns this year and five regular ones. My hands were tired! Your daughter’s creations are really stacking up. I wish we could be a customer. That is exciting news about your new opportunity for study. I wish you the very best.


  2. Naturopathy with Herbal Medicine sounds like a wonderful field of study. I actually thought of doing that myself at one point! I’m sure the school environment must be very different now… I hear all sorts of things about the technology in classrooms… and there I would be with a pen and a notebook, were I to go back. 🙂 Your girls are so sweet to draw you pictures! It was interesting to me, what you said about wanting to work with your hands after an academic day. I found that in college I started to get rather run down from all of the focus on academics, and eventually I started to take up more crafty things, and continued to make time for art… after I became a mother and began to study Waldorf education, it made me see is how healthy that balance is! I love your leaf children – and, my goodness, your girls are so talented with their crafts!


  3. Ah thanks for your sweet message Stacey! I AM the girl with pencil and paper! 🙂 in a sea of iPads and everyone is doing quizzes on their phone too! It feels like I have been in a time warp somehow and I feel super old fashioned somehow but I also feel that’s ok. I really think things go in better if the hand to brain connection is active. It’s like journaling- everything seems to come more effortlessly compared with writing on the computer. I often write my blog posts on paper first as the flow is better. Yes it totally makes sense and feels so intuitively right to balance academic with creative work as they do in Waldorf education. I am constantly impressed by the children’s crafts. I think , as like you, we are always making things, it is only natural for the children to follow suit. Hurrah – they already know how to relax and get absorbed in that way- so satisfying. Funny you were thinking of the same course. I do feel we have much in common 🙂


  4. Looking forward to hearing more about your studying, its fun going back to learning when you are older but also harder work as you have so many other responsibilities. I know how much I enjoyed studying again but also how tiring it was, so took a break from the degree I was doing when I had L but also now as the years going by wonder whether I should change direction instead of childcare based study, anthropology or nutrition are 2 major interests, who knows. Do make sure you take breaks from your studying and enjoy your crafts and nature, you will feel refreshed and better able to concentrate. Have bookmarked the star lantern tutorial, have always loved the look of those but never found instructions that look workable 🙂


    • Thanks Helen for your kind encouragement. I am making sure I get a balance between family life, study, my crafts and going for my walks. It is a work in progress but I know that balance is essential as I was getting too tired with too much brain action! It is fun to study again and find out about things outside my day to day life. One day you will again too. It sounds like you are learning every day with your children,but may be ready for a change from childcare based things when the time is right? Sometimes it’s so nice just to do something totally unrelated to family life…. it being so all encompassing…I certainly appreciate it – although my youngest is horrified by pictures of the body 😉 I think studying and learning is a life long process and it makes sense to follow your interests. The lantern tutorial is great. I had to help the children in parts and the last bit is a bit fiddly – my youngest actually worked it out before we did! – enjoy!


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